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August 2019 Poetry Book of the Month

The August 2019 Poetry Book of the Month is

Milk & Filth by Carmen Giménez Smith.  

ABOUT Milk & Filth

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Adding to the Latina tradition, Carmen Giménez Smith, politically aware and feminist-oriented, focuses on general cultural references rather than a sentimental personal narrative. She speaks of sexual politics and family in a fierce, determined tone voracious in its opinions about freedom and responsibility.

The author engages in mythology and art history, musically wooing the reader with texture and voice. As she references such disparate cultural figures as filmmaker Lars Von Trier, Annie from the film Annie Get Your Gun, Nabokov’s Lolita, Facebook entries and Greek gods, they appear as part of the poet’s cultural critique.

Phrases such as “the caustic domain of urchins” and “the gelatin shiver of tea’s surface” take the poems from lyrical images to comic humor to angry, intense commentary. On writing about “downgrading into human,” she says, “Then what? Amorality, osteoporosis and not even a marble estuary for the ages.”

Giménez Smith’s poetic arsenal includes rapier-sharp wordplay mixed with humor, at times self-deprecating, at others an ironic comment on the postmodern world, all interwoven with imaginative language of unexpected force and surreal beauty. Revealing a long view of gender issues and civil rights, the author presents a clever, comic perspective. Her poems take the reader to unusual places as she uses rhythm, images, and emotion to reveal the narrator’s personality. Deftly blending a variety of tones and styles, Giménez Smith’s poems offer a daring and evocative look at deep cultural issues.

“Giménez Smith generously deploys physical—often violent—imagery to challenge classist, consumerist, and socially polite forms of feminism.”—Publishers Weekly

“A sharp, feminist manifesto by way of poetry collection.”—The Nation

“Allusive, metaphorical, and nimble in tone and register, Milk and Filth is aesthetically alive.”—Rain Taxi Review of Books

“Giménez Smith is full of words—luscious, scabby, furious manifestos of self and culture.”—Raven Chronicles

“Carmen Giménez Smith’s Milk and Filth executes a benthic post-survival strategy wherein clawed, unlikely armaments unfurl from the tiniest coil of the conch. Here chimney-slim lyrics emit a scowl, a shiv, and a shriek while intricate tidal armies raise hot anthemic banners. Let us be as exclamation points to this puce-vermillion self-announcement!”—Joyelle McSweeney, author of Flet

You can read more about Carmen Giménez Smith and her work here:

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